Playing Avery On 'The Girlfriend Experience' Won't Be The Last Time You See Kate Lyn Sheil
Some movies make a natural transition to television, and vice versa, while others struggle more to find their footing. It will be interesting to see how The Girlfriend Experience, which premieres on Starz on April 10, will fare. The cast of Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 film, which gives the TV series its inspiration (Soderbergh is an executive producer), did not make the jump from big to small screen. However, the show kind of follows the lead set by the film and relies on a few indie actors rather than big name stars. One such actor is Kate Lyn Sheil, who plays Avery on The Girlfriend Experience.
Avery isn't the main character on the series, but rather a friend of Christine, the central character played by Riley Keough. Avery introduces Christine to the world of escorts and transactional relationships, so Sheil is tasked with making all of that seem alluring. But she should be more than capable of pulling it off. Sheil just started acting in the late '00s, and she already has a ton of credits to her name. Most of these have been in indie movies — a good fit for The Girlfriend Experience, which was the indie-est of movies. Here's what you should know about the actor before you are introduced to Avery.
She's An East Coast Native
Under the Radar magazine reported that, like the characters in The Girlfriend Experience, Sheil is an East Coaster, having grown up in Jersey City and graduated from NYU's acting program in 2006. "I couldn't believe I got in," she says of NYU's Tisch. "I was absolutely shocked and then didn't apply anywhere else. Yeah, I definitely thought that I was going to show up and be just the dumbest, worst actor that they admitted that year, just a fluke."
She's Been In Many Indies
Chances are, if you've taken a trip to the arthouse cinema any time since 2009, you've probably seen Sheil. If not in a feature, then certainly in a trailer. She's been in a bunch of Alex Ross Perry's movies (Impolex, The Color Wheel, Listen Up Philip). She's done indie horror (Ti West's You're Next and The Sacrament, Joe Swanberg's The Zone, horror anthology V/H/S). Her IMDb page is basically a Who's Who of SXSW movies.
Though She's Best Known For House Of Cards
Sheil played Lisa Williams, the friend/lover of Rachel Posner starting in the second season. For Sheil, it was a dream role. "I was a huge fan of the show before I even got the chance to audition for it," she told Interview.
She Loves Acting, But Isn't So Sure About Fame
"The fact that I’m a private person but want to be observed in some sort of public way is a frustrating dichotomy for me," she told Filmmaker magazine. "The other side of acting that’s involved once a movie comes out is overwhelming to me." Hopefully, The Girlfriend Experience won't raise her profile to a frustrating degree.
She Also Works Behind The Scenes
In addition to acting, Sheil has a few writing credits, too, including Zachary Treitz's Men Go to Battle.
You're Going To See A Lot Of Her
Sheil likes to work. She's amassed a ton of credits already and has a bunch more coming up, in addition to The Girlfriend Experience, including Outcast, a TV series supernatural possessions. "I am terrible with free time," she told IndieWire. "I turn into a real monster; I just don't know what to do with myself."